(warning: this is a very long post)
I'm only 13 years old. Almost 14. But before you leave this page please read a little of my story, it might help.

I remember when a friend of mine showed me the Amanda Todd video on YouTube. I couldn't bring myself to keep laughing and having fun playing video games, and I started to think about more serious things. I cried when the video ended, and I'm sure many other people did. I felt so much sadness for that girl, even though she made mistakes, because everyone messes up.

In 7th grade, a boy in my school killed himself. I didn't know him, but that didn't lessen the impact it had on me. I had never seen so many kids crying in my school, and it broke my heart. When I got home, I looked in my yearbook to see what the boy looked like, and I saw a picture of him smiling with his friends. I wanted so badly for him to have never committed suicide, but we can't change the past.

I had never really thought I would be a kid with problems. I have a really loving family. I had a bit of a tougher time when I was very little with my family. My mom is a smoker, and I used to cry some nights worrying that she might die. I didn't even realize how much she was damaging me by smoking in the house around me constantly, or maybe I just tried not to notice. My dad and my mom didn't get along. They spoke of divorce, but it never happened. I wouldn't say they are together currently though, and that's okay, because no family is perfect. In reality, that utopia that I thought existed just isn't reasonable, and imperfections make life interesting anyway. I've always been quite close with my dad, but my opinion of him has always been biased. I believe this is due to the fact that my mom has always talked about my dad to my siblings and me in a negative way. I am sure that there is some truth in her words, however I appreciate that with a few more years, I've gained enough wisdom to think for myself a little more. I'm the youngest in my family, and I was always excluded. I'm fairly certain that many kids who are the youngest had similar experiences. I remember feeling like my siblings truly hated me, but again, with age, things have improved drastically and I'm much closer with my brothers and sister despite the age difference. Overall, my family is very loving and supportive, and they have made sure to raise me to be a "good kid". By that I mean I'd never be the kid in the principal's office at school, or the teenager who was smoking pot in the bathroom.

In a way, I felt as though I needed to live up to certain expectations, although that was not encouraged by my family. It was just my idea that I needed to take the most advanced classes, get 100 averages in everything, be the best artist, etc. I didn't have a problem with academics ever, but I recognized that my sister was most likely more intelligent than me, and that my brothers were far more athletic. I was content with just being me, although I never really struggled with anything in particular.

When I think back to being younger, I think of happiness. I suppose that's how the brain works; we remember what we want to remember. Over time, I became less carefree and a little more serious, which is natural of course. I started caring a little more about what others thought of me. I remember in 4th grade, I had great friends, and then all of the sudden, they were gone. I would sit on the bench at recess alone, and I didn't bother trying to make new friends. Each year, I would always make new friends. I know that I'm socially awkward, but I'm always able to find people who accept ME and like ME, so all I have to do is be myself and I'm lucky enough that kids wanted to be friends with me. My best memories are probably making my friends laugh. I think every kid loves making people laugh.

In 6th grade, once again, I lost a really close friend. It became a pattern, and every year, I would lose some of my closest friends and they always ended up becoming very popular which I found kind of amusing. I guess I wanted to be popular at least subconsciously, but my school isn't just made up of popular kids and not popular kids. There are groups of friends, and I found my group of friends that I really liked being with. I started out sitting my best friend at lunch and slowly, other kids came to sit with us. I remember feeling great, because these were kids that I had talked to only a little, and it was nice to see that they wanted to hang out with me.

6th grade was a fun year, but I was never very close with any of my friends. I could laugh with them and be myself, but we could never have a serious discussion. That was something I really wanted from my friends, so I decided I needed to take initiative for that change.

The day before Christmas. I remember texting a friend, who I thought was much more popular than me, and I wondered why she would even want to be friends with me. I thought she was perfect. She was an amazing athlete, easily the smartest in our grade, extremely artistic, musically talented, you name it and she could do it better than almost anyone I knew. I joked around with her constantly and I can be very obnoxious and loud when I'm having fun with friends. She was the last person I expected to have a serious conversation with. However, she made a comment about how she wasn't good at something. I was shocked. I had assumed that someone as perfect as her would have to see how amazing they were. I assumed that she must have been being modest, but I decided anyway that I needed to tell her my opinion.

Here's one thing I value: honesty. I'm not perfect of course, but I try to be honest. One of the most difficult things for me is to be open with people. When you trust someone, share your feelings, or show someone who you truly are, you are making yourself vulnerable. But that doesn't mean it isn't a good thing to do. So I decided to tell my friend exactly how highly I thought of her. I admitted that I was jealous because she was amazing at everything and I thought that she should see that and be proud of herself for it. I know that that is a very awkward thing to say to someone, but I thought it would be worth it if it brightened up her day or helped her to appreciate herself a bit more. She proceeded to tell me that she thought I was amazing as well. It felt so liberating to be able to be so open with someone that I started crying again. I was so happy that I had found someone that I could talk to.

We got very close in the next couple of months. She was the first person in my life that I felt I could trust completely. I trusted that she cared about me, and would try to help me. I listened to her when she was upset or needed to talk too, and I did my best to help her. I am extremely grateful for her and I've always cared about her so much ever since we have gotten close. I told her all of my flaws, and every time that she said it was ok or argued that I wasn't a bad person in that way, I felt reassured that I found someone who truly accepted me.

Things started to go downhill when we started fighting. I attribute a lot of the drama to myself because I overreact quite a bit and get very emotional. We had MANY pointless fights, and I would often find myself apologizing very soon and forgetting about anything I was angry about. She meant too much to me for me to stay angry at her, and it was nice to not be afraid to let her know that she meant a lot to me, without it being awkward. I felt very bad for her actually. A lot of kids said she was very mean and called her a b**** to her face. To be honest, she could easily come across as mean, mainly because of her sense of humor. Over time, I realized that this might have been because she wanted to be a strong person, so sometimes she would use anger to cover up true feelings. When we got into fights, I tried to do my best to understand that and not judge her.

As you're reading this, I'm sure you already must think I'm a bit strange. But what makes me even stranger, is that I felt dependent on her. I couldn't stand the idea of losing her, because she was such an amazing friend. One time, she got mad at me, I can't even recall the reason, but another friend told me she was not planning on forgiving me. I felt like giving up. I wanted to die so badly and I didn't speak in school because I was so upset. That's what I mean when I say I overreact, but people mean a lot to me and I really love my friends.

When we made up after that fight, I told her how I had felt. She was surprised and apologized and told me I should never feel that way. But sadly, the fights continued. In the midst of one of these fights, I remember hearing her make a comment about how the drinks were spiked and a sports dinner she went to and she hadn't known. That gave me an idea. I thought: why not try alcohol? I wondered what it would taste like, and I thought one beer wouldn't do that much harm. Yes, I know, I know, very stupid of me. I remember how I used to judge the kids getting drunk in middle school and I never thought I'd be like them.

I don't really feel like it's necessary to get into the details, but I could not find beer, so I tried rum. I didn't know what a normal amount was, so I had way too much. I ended up drinking the rum and some wine over the course of three days before I decided it needed to stop. The three days in which I drank were actually quite fun for me, but I strongly advise against turning to alcohol to avoid your problems. Drinking made my problems 100 times worse, and I'm the only one to blame.

I told one of my friends that I had been drinking. She thought it was funny at first, but it got serious when she was crying and begging me to stop because she was worried about me. I felt so guilty, so that's why I stopped after the third day, and I'm glad it didn't carry on any longer. I also decided to tell that close friend that I had drank, against my other friend's advice. She freaked out when I told her. She was really mad at me, but she did let me know that it was because she cared. It was all okay for a while, until she told me she wanted to tell her other friend that I had drank. I didn't want more people to get involved after I had seen how it affected my friends. I didn't think it was her right to tell this friend, so I told her that she could tell that friend if she really wanted to, but that I couldn't be friends with her if she made that choice. Looking back, I realize that that was a very selfish thing for me to say because I was making her choose between what she thought was the right decision and me. Well, she chose to tell her friend, which broke my heart.

We didn't speak for about a month. Every day, I would go home and cry in my bed wishing that everything had worked out. I was mad for maybe a day, but I couldn't stay mad at her. I had hurt her as much as she had hurt me. I wanted to be friends with her again, but I was almost sure that she hated me. She told me she was going to block my number and I still remember the things she texted me like "**** you, at least I'm not insecure" that made me break down crying. I can't remember anything specifically, but I'm sure I said things that hurt her, whether I intended to or not.

My friends began telling me about all the jokes she was making about me behind my back. That hurt so much. I asked her if she had been making the jokes that my friends had said she was making, because I did not want to make any assumptions, and she admitted to making fun of me behind my back. I couldn't even be mad because I deserved it. I just wanted her to forgive me.

Eventually, I worked up the courage to text her and apologize again. I let her know that I still wanted to be friends, and we agreed that it wouldn't be the same as before. She made it clear that she was perfectly fine without me, but I was happy just that she was speaking to me again.

She started trusting me again, which I found strange. I was happy about this though, so I did my best to help her with whatever was bothering her and I made sure not to talk to anyone about what she told me. I'm not going to go into what we've talked about because I feel like that is unfair to her.

It's kind of difficult to explain, but I feel like I've changed a lot over these past couple of years. And I understand completely if you think I'm a complete idiot after reading this far, but sadly it gets worse.

I completely stopped caring about myself. I only cared about doing everything I could to help other people. My life felt pointless. I had no motivation or will to live, but I didn't really want to kill myself and I was afraid too.

What I wanted was to just accidentally die. I took about 20 benadryl pills, but I didn't think that would kill me. The next day, I took about 30 pills, maybe more. I was extremely confused and frightened. I could easily that experience was one of the scariest times of my life. I could not tell the difference between reality and my imagination. I really believed I was going to die. I thought I would probably not wake up the next day. I couldn't even move, and when I eventually tried to stand up I was so off balance that I fell. I felt so fragile and terrified by everything. I couldn't listen to music because I felt so anxious and the noise made me feel on edge. The next morning at school, the slightest sound would spook me and I'd freak out. I realized that I didn't actually want to die. In fact, I was terrified that I'd damaged myself horribly and I began to care a bit more. I thought of my friends that I love and how it would affect them if I died. I thought about my family and how they would be hurt. Maybe people don't care about me that much, but I believe that if there's even a chance that I might have hurt someone by killing myself, that it wouldn't be worth it. I want to live. I want to be here so that I can make a difference and help people. I want to dedicate MY LIFE to helping people, and I don't even know how but I'm looking forward to figuring that out. I really appreciate the gift of life that has been given to me. There are so many positive things I can do, that there is no doubt in my mind that there is a reason for me to live.

So, if any of you are struggling, please try to think about the big picture. I know this is so cliche, but focus on the positive things in life. You are all so amazing and if you think nobody cares about you, I guarantee that you're wrong, because I promise that I care about you. I believe in you too, even though I might not know you, because everyone can make something of their life and accomplish their goals. Please enjoy your life as much as you can everyone, and thank you if you have taken time out of your day to read at least a little of my story!